Scott Gomez Told to Stay Home; CBA Memo of Understanding Signed-Off; Training Camps Open; Classic Habs vs. Soviets '75
What was to be the big news Sunday was that the CBA Memo of Understanding was approved by the NHLPA and that training camps would officially begin -- but this morning Habs GM Marc Bergevin informed the media that veteran forward Scott Gomez was told to stay home and that he would be bought out this summer.
The Canadiens have a lot of competition for the remaining spots on the roster and specifically for the third and fourth lines. On TVA the other night the pundits there debated as to what the starting roster will look like on January 19th when the Habs play the Leafs. With Lars Eller probably set to be the third line centreman, and Ryan White to probably pivot the fourth, Gomez becomes expendable.
Although injuries could change this very quickly, Gomez is still loose change. Petteri Nokelainen is injured but when he returns he could be a viable option for fourth line minutes. It also gives more creedence to the idea that Galchenyuk will get all the chances in the world to make this team.
Personally, I think Gomez cursed himself changing his number to "11" after he played with "91" during his first season with the Habs and put up very respectable numbers. That was Saku Koivu's number...
In the end, the Canadiens will pay his entire season's salary of over 5 million bucks, but next year after the buyout is completed his salary will be cleared from the team's cap space. Something kind of important when you are trying to sign one of your blue chip blueliners.
Bergevin was in Toronto yesterday to meet with Subban's agent Don Meehan and rumours have it that the latest offer was a four year/23 million deal -- which was summarily rejected. The goal was to have Subban signed in time for the start of training camp. Hopefully this will be resolved sooner than later as it'll only hurt the team and Subban's game-readiness if this drags on much longer.
As for Scotty G. his playing days with the Habs are now officially over. Bergevin mentioned in his presser that he took it like a professional. It's still possible he could be traded, but that would be a long shot at best. Let's wish him well.
More news to come from Brossard from the Canadiens' training camp but for now we know that Nokelainen is still a few weeks away and now Tomas Plekanec is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
On a another note, it was also surprising to hear that Erik Cole is contemplating retirement at season's end and it was a bit astonishing to say the least that he would reveal this days before training camp was set to begin. Ultimately, it sounds as if he was very frustrated with the lockout and really enjoyed being home with his family. Hopefully he shakes it off and it doesn't affect his or the rest of the team's play. Thankfully the media has put it to rest and I will too...
The other night RDS aired the classic New Year's eve '75 game between the Soviets and the Montreal Canadiens at the old Montreal Forum, who would go on to win their first of four straight Stanley Cups later that year.
Classic for sure. The byline goes that Ken Dryden didn't have the best game of his life, giving up three goals on thirteen shots, while Vladislav Tretiak shined with thirty-five of thirty-eight shots.
But man, what a team the Canadiens had!!!! Still gives me goose bumps: Steve Shutt, Yvan Cournoyer, Serge Savard, Guy Lafleur, Bob Gainey, Larry Robinson, Ken Dryden, Peter Mahovlich, Guy Lapointe, Jacques Lemaire -- and that's not even counting the likes of character players like Tremblay, Riseborough, Jarvis, Lambert and of course Coach Scotty Bowman!!!
How much would a team like this cost today?
No wonder the era of hockey dynasties is a thing of the past.
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